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Ruminations On The Atmoran Totem Gods

Tags: #nords  #Atmorans  #Gods 
  • July 18

    I've been thinking about the Atmoran\Nordic Gods recently and how the lore doesn't do much to describe how the Atmorans viewed them. I don't know as much about Nordic lore as I probably should but I'm going to list some of the gods and how I think they would have worshipped them. Throw out any and all ideas on how you think they would have been viewed.

     

    Dead Gods

    The Fox, Shor - Shor is the Chief of the gods and ruler of the afterlife. It's interesting that Shor's totem is the fox, as most aspects of Lorkhan are viewed as cunning tricksters and are either hated for it like by the Bretons, Elves and Kahjiit or loved for it like by the Dunmer. The Nords as a general rule don't seem to enjoy trickiness so why a fox? Shor is definitely viewed as a warrior but I think unlike Tsun he would be viewed as a clever warrior, not someone who sets out to trick others but one who always knows when he himself is being tricked. He would be the patron of Chiefs, Jarls, Warleaders and priests of the dead. 

    The Bear, Tsun - Tsun is the god of trials against adversity, shield-thane to Shor until he died and is now the protector of Sovengard. Tsun is the patron to warriors and I imagine Tsun looks the most favourably on Berserkers like himself who wear no armour but the skin of a bear and fight with the ferocity of one.

     

    Hearth Gods

    The Hawk. Kyne - Defacto ruler of the gods after Shor's death. She's a god of storms and warriors that's also associated with nature because nature's natural state is a war of survival. She is called the Kiss At The End because she is the one that leads the soul to the gates of Sovengard upon death. I imagine seeing a hawk flying over a battlefield would be a popular myth of Kyne leading the dead. She's basically like Valkyrie crossed with Thor with a hint of The Morrigan thrown in. Warriors and sailors looking for calm winds would pray to her.

    The Moth, Dibella - Goddess of beauty in all its forms. Whether that's sex, poetry or even in mind. Dib is not just a goddess of beauty but also of creativity and that includes creative thinking. With Jhunal's cold logic not finding a huge fanbase with the Nords it's Dibella's creative thinking that taught the Nords how to think sideways\outside the box. 

     

    Testing Gods

    The Snake, Orkey - Seems to be a god of degradation and the inevitable coming of winter and the dying of all things. He's probably named Old Knocker because death comes calling for us all. With his totem being a snake I can't help but think of the shedding of skin. With Kyne being associated with the glorious death of a warrior, I imagine Orkey would be associated with the death of the old and the sick. The prophecy that foretold the death of Ysgramor was called the Prophecy of Twin Snakes, I wonder if it was named for him?

    The Hare, Herma Mora - Herma Mora is a trickster god. He's kind of viewed the same way as other cultures view Clavicus Vile. The Hare is trying to sell you something that costs more than it's worth. He's trying to trick you by giveing all the answers but it will only bring ruin beacuse the easy way is for cowards and fools. True Nords know the only honorable actions is to scrape and fight tooth and nail for everything.

     

    Twilight Gods

    The Dragon, Alduin - You know him well. He's your friend and mine. Alduin, bane of kings, ender of kalpas ect ect. Nords prey to keep him alseep for one more turn but he's also venerated for allowing the current day.

    The Dragonborn God, Ysmir - Or Talos in if your prefer. I don't as thats a modern Imperial invention. God of conqorors. Spiritual son of Shor. Will be the only Nordic god to survive whole in to the next kalpa where he will replace Shor as the Chief.

     

    Other Gods

    The Whale, Stuhn - Another warrior god. Shield-Thane to Shor, brother of Tsun and god of ransom. Strangley enough even tho there is a whale-bone bridge in Sovengard there is zero mention of him dying and he is not appear in the dead god catogory, or any other one for that matter. Stuhn would have been venerated in two ways. First by fishermen, sailors and whalers who his concept of ransom would embody the bate they use to catch their prey so that they may sell to make a living, to them he would be a humpback or blue whale. Secondly by reavers and warriors who would raid by ship and actually take captives so that they may be ransomed off later, to them he would be an Orca.

    The Goat, All-Father - We don't know the origin of All-Father worship other than it has existed with the Skaal since the beginning and that they claim it is an ancient tradition that goes back to Atmora. The All-Father is mentioned in the old Nordic Aldudagga legends where he is equated with a Goat whoes bell is used to tell the passing of time.

    The Bull, Morihaus - Said to be the first Son of Kyne and is a god of the Thu'um. The city of Morthal is named after him. Eventually he was coopted in to Imperial culture where he is said to have taken the White-Gold Tower from the elves.

     

    Possible Gods

    The Stag - There is an old Atmoran legend where Ysgrimor who is hunting in Frostwood comes across the "White Stag of Forelgrim". It's pretty obvious that there is something special about the stag and in the end the Harbinger is nearly tricked by the Hare(ma) Mora in to becoming an elf and he is only saved by the Fox-Shor. The most likley god for the Stag to be is Hircene who qute offten appears as a white stag. HOWEVER, a more instresting idea is that it's a god that represents the Falmer. Maybe even connected to the elven Bow of the Stag Prince found on Solstheim. We know that there was elves on Atmora and the Nords killed them\drove them all away but I think the surivors fled to Skyrim and became the Falmer.

    The Mammoth - There really isn't anything that points to a mammoth god but I just don't see how that can be possible. They are such large prominant, powerful animals and the reverance shown to them by the Giants who are the Nords ancestors, there must have been a Mammoth god at somepoint.

  • Member
    July 18

    The Goat, All-Father

    Lol! I like that! Ok, so I see you have the bear and whale as per the design doc, cool. I have a few thoughts on Mara as the crone (god damn, I hate that - why not matriarch? Sounds way nicer :D). Anyway, we've both read the Femininity in Tamrielic Faith article, and so my only concern with Mara fulfilling that role is that the edlest female clan-member would occupy a position of power and status. Whereas Mara doesn't have that influence, hers is more subtle in my view:

    The Tear-Wife is able to make treaty with the other chieftains, notably Ald, who would represent the Aka/Auriel Time God and his faction. Creation has interplay with multiple beings, hence being the Concubine to both Time and Space. She created life with Ald, but created the world with Shor. As such, she is the stabilizing factor between them, the common factor. Mara ties everyone together.

    Aye and here is the rub: As she is represented in the Nordic Pantheon, she serves and represents her nature best when she is not in charge. The crux of the struggle of the breeding woman, is it not?

    So I'm still sort of pro Kyne for matriarch in the triple goddess.

  • Member
    July 22

    tricked by the Hare(ma) Mora in to becoming an elf

     

    Wait, does this happen? There's so much craziness in ES lore, but race and gender seem to be one of the only things that gods don't change... But it would be awesome if they do, imagine a Dunmer slave owner being turned into an Argonian.

  • Member
    July 22
    @Zonnonn I love myself some baleful polymorphing in ES! There's no real examples of gender-swapping as far as I know (and if I'm wrong, please give examples), but there's a few cases of race swapping. Look at the Chimer-Dunmer transformation, or that one witch quest in Daggerfall that had a noble turn into a monster, like a giant or harpy.
  • July 22

    Zonnonn said:

    tricked by the Hare(ma) Mora in to becoming an elf

     

    Wait, does this happen? There's so much craziness in ES lore, but race and gender seem to be one of the only things that gods don't change... But it would be awesome if they do, imagine a Dunmer slave owner being turned into an Argonian.

    Yeah, that's the myth at least.

  • Member
    July 22

    Tenebrous said: @Zonnonn I love myself some baleful polymorphing in ES! There's no real examples of gender-swapping as far as I know (and if I'm wrong, please give examples), but there's a few cases of race swapping. Look at the Chimer-Dunmer transformation, or that one witch quest in Daggerfall that had a noble turn into a monster, like a giant or harpy.

    Silly me, I forgot about the Dunmer. And the Orcs of course, and there's probably some others I've forgotten. It'd be interesting to see it on a smaller scale though, a whole society changing feels different. I haven't played Daggerfall but that does sound pretty cool, is it a deity being cheeky or something else?

  • Member
    July 22
    @Zonnonn Nah. It was a quest given by the various witch covens, who give you a piece of jewelry to give to a random dude. When the victim, who wronged the coven in the past, puts it on, he gets transformed into a random monster. There's also the scrapped Skyrim spell, Polymorph Skeever, and a few examples from ESO.
  • Member
    July 22

    With the Hearth Gods, Dibella is the Maiden, Mara is the Mother, and Kyne is Crone, not Mara being the Crone.

    To further explain this you can these links found here: Mara / Kyne / Dibella

     

    Also, about Shor being a Fox, there is debate that Shor is actually the Snake and not Orkey because of this

    "Shor took on the form of his Totem then, which he used to better shape his displeasure, rather than to shout it aloud and risk more storm-death. [...] Shor shook his scaled mane." -Shor, Son of Shor

    These can hold some weight because in Redguard and Elven Pantheons Lorkahn and Sep, I think, is almost always depicted as a Serpent/Snake

     

    Also, Jhunal was quite popular among the Atromans because they were respectful and careful of Magic. There were mages that came with Ysgamor and the Five Hundred Companions, that would place Runes, cast protective spells, and heal them. The reason he fell out of favor is that the Imperials bastardized the Nords religion, and only added two of the Nordic Gods in their Pantheon, those being Shor and Kyne.

  • July 22

    The Last Blade said:

    With the Hearth Gods, Dibella is the Maiden, Mara is the Mother, and Kyne is Crone, not Mara being the Crone.

    To further explain this you can these links found here: Mara / Kyne / Dibella

     

    Also, about Shor being a Fox, there is debate that Shor is actually the Snake and not Orkey because of this

    "Shor took on the form of his Totem then, which he used to better shape his displeasure, rather than to shout it aloud and risk more storm-death. [...] Shor shook his scaled mane." -Shor, Son of Shor

    These can hold some weight because in Redguard and Elven Pantheons Lorkahn and Sep, I think, is almost always depicted as a Serpent/Snake

     

    Also, Jhunal was quite popular among the Atromans because they were respectful and careful of Magic. There were mages that came with Ysgamor and the Five Hundred Companions, that would place Runes, cast protective spells, and heal them. The reason he fell out of favor is that the Imperials bastardized the Nords religion, and only added two of the Nordic Gods in their Pantheon, those being Shor and Kyne.

     

    Why would Kyne be the Crone? She birthed the Nords on Snow Throat. She is literally the Mother.

     

    Well, the design document as provided my MK states that Shor is the fox.

     

    Lore from ESO states that Jhunal was never actually a popular god. He's also not really a magic god either so the amount of Clever Men with the Atmorans doesn't really mean much. 

  • Member
    July 22

    The idea of Mara as Mother could come, in part, from a resemblance to Christian imagery that seems to link her to Mary.  The statues of Mara show her in a 'pietas' position (check Renaissance sculpture for that term - the only thing missing is the body of the dead Christ in her arms).  And then, I suppose, there's the similarity of the name.  These aren't super strong links, of course, but I'm sure they have an impact on some players - I know they did on my interpretation.  

    Kyne/crone similarly sound alike, and while (again) you can't just go on sound-echoes, I prefer to think that such things aren't entirely an accident. :)  

    I guess for me, also, Mara is *embodied*, while Kyne isn't.  There are no images of a physical Kyne/Kynareth.  She's an abstraction.  Mara is at least given physical (human) representation.  That moves her a bit closer to the "Mother" role, to me anyway.  To know a mother is to know a *body* (note that the same is not true for fathers!).  

     

    And I'm a bit miffed at that design doc, myself; Stuhn and the Bear, Tsun and the Whale, and Shor and the Snake seemed like such good fits! ;)